Read more: Extension Cord Laws | eHow.com
This article covers general requirements, applications, and construction specifications for flexible cords and flexible cables.
(1) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure
(2) Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors
(3) Where run through doorways, windows, or similar openings
(4) Where attached to building surfaces
(5) Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located above suspended or dropped ceilings
Extension cords need ventilation to prevent heat buildup, if inside a wall or enclose space, heat will cause the outer jacket to dry out over time, crack, exposing bare wires, creating a point of electrical shorting of the wires, causing a spark, resulting in a possible dangerous fire.
Extension cords are not designed or made for use inside a wall or ceiling, not even heavy-duty types, due to National Electrical Code restrictions, as listed above, specifically regarding the non-use of flexible cords cable.
Extension cords sold in retail stores in North America, have labeling specifically warning not for use inside walls or ceilings.
In-wall rated extension cords do not exist, not even heavy-duty industrial type cords.
No matter what you may be told, or how long you search online, there are absolutely no type of extension cords manufactured anywhere in the world rated for in-wall use for North America.
Proper agency rated electrical connection junction boxes, J-Boxes, are also required for all wire connections and must also provide correct internal cubic inch capacity.
The Canadian Code and NEC specifically state extension cords shall not be concealed within walls. This includes inside conduits within walls.
The Canadian Code and NEC specifically state extension cords shall not be used as a substitute for permanent electrical premise wiring. This method, is not code compliant, as the extension cord is physically attached permanently to the ROMEX inside a junction box, making it a fixed wire connection, not temporary or removable.
- Install a standard A/C outlet wired directly to the premise circuit.
- Install a PowerBridge In-Wall Power Extension with in-wall power-wire rated for your area, safest and easiest and code compliant method of concealing power inside walls.
PowerBridge is installed using specific types of UL-listed in-wall rated building electrical wire, not an extension cord inside the wall.
The in-wall power wire creates a direct “power-extension” by connecting the upper PowerOUT wall plate to the lower PowerIN wall plate together, making a code compliant in-wall power extension.
Depending on your local code requirement, several types of in-wall rated power wire are used. There are several types of in-wall wire that can be used with PowerBridge.
The most commonly used type in the US is best known brand ROMEX®, manufacturer of NM-type wire, made specifically to use inside wall and ceilings to connect all of your electrical outlets, switches and lights fixtures.
The in-wall extension is the “fixed wiring extension” within the wall. The “fixed wiring” is the use of the proper type of building electrical wire installed and secured to screw terminals of the wall plates within junction boxes mounted to the structures walls as required to meet Code compliance.
This is NOT a “fixed wiring substitute” use of an extension cord, as it can be unplugged easily at anytime, no different than plugging and unplugging any appliance or cord from an existing outlet.
The supplied power-connect cord is NOT installed within the wall of the structure.
Don’t want to have ugly cords hanging down outside the wall.
Can’t put the TV power cord or any type of extension cord inside a wall or ceiling.
Hiring an electrician to install a regular outlet is expensive.
Expensive HDTV/projectors should be protected from power surge.
PowerBridge is the only type of Code compliant solution to connect to external protection and power back-up.
If you’ve already installed your TV with the power cord in the wall, left it hanging down, or preparing to install a new flat screen HDTV on the wall, or a Projector, you need a power-outlet to plug it into.
You don’t want to see wires and cables hanging down from the bottom of your expensive TV.
You want to safely install and protect your investment with compliant in-wall wiring and surge protection.
Designed to be safe and easy to install yourself and allows for external power surge protection and AV cable pass-through all in one wall plate.
Unless you have a whole-house, main panel protection system installed, your outlets in your home are un-protected from surge power and “dirty”, noisy power which can reduce the life of electronics and power supplies.
It’s important to know, power surge and power spikes can destroy expensive electronics.
PowerBridge does not have built-in power protection, requires an optional external device, not sold through PowerBridge.
We have not seen or heard of any documentation showing interference issues with 120v and AV wiring.
Today, most audio video cables of better quality are “shielded”, with a foil shield around the wires within the PVC jacket, designed to minimize EMI type interference.
HDMI, Component, Composite, S-Video and audio cables have not been found suspect with visible or audible electrical interference when running in close proximity of 120v power wires.
Some speaker wire, cat5/6 wires or “cheap-low-end” AV cables may not have shielding and could receive some EMI type interference.
Note: Low-voltage (AV wiring) should not pass through the same openings/holes or point-of-entry through framing or junction boxes unless separated by an approved device. The PowerBridge Total Solution has separate junction and pass-through for power and low-voltage.
If you have basic DIY skills and basic tools, you should not have any problems installing a PowerBridge Solution Kit.
PowerBridge, easy and safe to install, no direct wiring connection to the electrical panel or circuit or directly hardwired from the back of another existing outlet.
You will never be in contact with “live” electricity at any time during the installation.
Easy to follow installation instructions with pictures. Wall cut-out template for the in-wall junction boxes come with each kit. We’ve made it easy with color-coded wiring connections and labeled everything to assist for a safe and successful installation.
We recommended professional installation if you are not comfortable cutting holes and running wiring within the walls.
Check with local building jurisdiction officials regarding possible unique requirements for running building electrical wire within a wall/ceiling in your specific area.
Most flat panel installations, the TV is mounted above the AV source equipment/stand. PowerBridge kits include a 6-foot length of gauge 14/2 NM-type, ROMEX® brand, in-wall rated power-wire.
Installations above a fireplace or locating the AV equipment in a remote location requires a longer distance than 6′ to route the in-wall power-wire extension.
PowerBridge recommends using the proper gauge of wire for long runs. Gauge 14/2 building wire is suited for runs less than 40′, while 12/2 wire is suited for runs 40-75′.
In-wall rated wire, ROMEX, NM-type and MC-type, available in all Home Depot, Lowes, ACE and most any hardware store. Purchased by the foot or bulk from 25′ to 75′ boxes, reasonably inexpensive.
Specification of the proper cord, 3-wire grounded, 14 or 16 gauge UL-Listed/CSA type.
NM-type is the most common electrical wire used for Code compliancy throughout the US and Canada.
PowerBridge kits purchased online from Authorized Retailers include a 6-foot length of gauge 14/2 NM-type (ROMEX brand) in-wall rated power-wire. Longer lengths up to 75′ of wire can be used.
Note: Certain areas of the US, such as, NYC and Chicago, may require different types of electrical building wire. Metal-clad (MC-type) armored-clad (AC-type) or conduit run wire, all three are used with metal junction boxes, and purchased separately. Click here to view PowerBridge Metal Solution Add-On Kit
Amp rating and gauge of wire.
PowerBridge is rated as a 15-amp device.
The recommended gauge wire to connect the PowerIN to the PowerOUT wall plates is 14/2 type for less than 40′ and 12/2 up to 75′. 12/2 can be used for less that 40′ connections, however not required or offer any enhancement.
The existing building electrical wiring is 12/2 gauge and the outlet is on a 20-amp circuit.
Many newer homes today are wired with 20-amp circuit breakers and wired with 12/2 gauge wire.
PowerBridge is not wired directly to the premise circuit wiring, it is not necessary to use 12/2 wire, as it is not part of the 20-amp connection. PowerBridge only plugs into the existing power receptacle to be energized.
The existing outlet receptacle which you plug the PowerBridge PowerConnect cord to the PowerIN, can be either a 15-amp or 20 amp circuit.
PowerBridge does not resell the parts separately. Our product certification listing with ETL to the UL Classification prohibits such. The Power Plug-INLET is not available as a retail part individually due to it’s classification type. It’s intended use by itself is not recognized as an electrical component to be installed in-wall unless sold as a system/kit meeting agency compliance, as the PowerBridge is listed.
PowerBridge SS and TS products are tested to meet agency compliance as a complete system installed together, not as individual parts. Careful purchase decision should be considered when comparing other similar products that claim to accomplish what a genuine PowerBridge kit provides. PowerBridge is the only ready to install, fully listed kit on the market. Not all “kits” available on the market are tested or certified agency compliant and could affect overall product safety.
SAFETY NOTE: Home-made versions as seen on web sites comparing themselves as a “PowerBridge”, suggest using a compilation of electrical parts which are drilled, screwed, glued, riveted to wall plates with holes cut-in, will not pass electrical safety inspections. These “home-made” versions should be considered hazardous if applied without using the UL classification methods of intended use and installation. Do-it-yourself methods may appear a cost savings idea, not considered safe or code compliant and could be potentially dangerous and should never be used.
It is strongly advised to check with local building code authorities and insurance company inspectors before attempting using non-compliant parts constructing a home-made version.